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Entering in twelfth year of multi-service engagement with a leading Publisher

Entering in twelfth year of multi-service engagement with a leading Publisher

A tryst of content with technology...

The client is the world's leading provider of information driven services and solutions in four core markets – science and medicine, legal, business and education.

Publisher of more than 15,000 books, magazines and journals, the client also manages over 500 websites and portals and organizes more than 430 trade exhibitions in 35 countries.

In 1996, the client recognized that in order to maintain its competitive advantage, it must reduce costs and adopt best practices across its business processes and enterprise systems. As a content company, it did not even have a system to manage different document versions. This and other legacy processes had to be improved to become the foundation for innovation.

And this led to a partnership with HCL that has now entered its twelfth year.

HCL showed the way...

Way back in 1996, the client was looking to partner with an IT services provider who could help them meet their cost and quality objectives.

In the initial stages, HCL effectively addressed the client's doubts and perceptions about outsourcing/ offshoring work by delivering on its promise of lower cost and exceeding the client's quality measures. HCL worked with the client to define a comprehensive engagement model to operationalize a true partnership. Roles, responsibilities and processes were established to ensure that the client's workflows run smoothly throughout all periods of all engagements.

Once the engagement model was put in place, the work grew by leaps and bounds over the years. The first challenge was of platform migration for the client's legal arm. This continued until 1999 when the world awoke to the dangers of the Y2K glitch.

The variety of projects increased manifold from that point onward. HCL partnered throughout the IT landscape and across domains in this crisis, examples include – infrastructure migration, reengineering projects and database migrations – just to name a few.

HCL started working with the acquisitions made by the client and seamlessly integrated the new entities with the client's ecosystem.

Reading between lines...

When the engagement began, it was limited to 50 IT professionals from HCL, which expanded and has grown to include more than 400 people. Throughout the years, HCL and the client have collaborated to address multiple and dynamic challenges of the functions, organization and industry, thereby expanding the partnership. Beginning in 1999, HCL completely managed all editorial systems and technologies. In 2002, HCL expanded to other business groups including the SQA testing.

Having steadily climbed the ladder of trust, the engagement with the client's scientific and medical arm began in 2004. At the same time, HCL continued to expand into enterprise system and customer facing projects including launching a virtual library, Oracle upgradation projects, technology replacements, ISBN-13 migration and e-commerce.

In 2005, HCL managed the client's customer-facing rating system for their legal arm. HCL brought thought leadership by completing a comprehensive Application Portfolio Optimization (APO) of the editorial system and enterprise systems for the legal arm. For the medical and scientific arm, HCL took ownership of e-development in the UK.

In 2006, HCL did another APO but this time for an acquisition of the client. HCL expanded its value base further by providing global production support, introducing SLA-based support models, and by bringing agile development onsite to the client.

In 2007, HCL solidified its strategic partnership by bringing forth new ideas based upon its experience with the client's business, industry and systems. Some ideas include implementing open source to decrease reliance/ cost from package software and simplifying its overall system integration by migration of their Linux systems. This thought leadership is paired with continuing to expand HCL's footprint by taking over e-commerce in the medical and scientific arm of the client.

A solution to match each story...

The engagement has involved applications related to data conversion, editing and correction through SLA based fixed cost engagement models. It also dealt with document tracking, work flow, content management and publishing. HCL managed very high revenue earning web application, billing applications, e-commerce, business intelligence and data warehousing.

HCL engages on new application development, migration, renovation and enhancement. It has re-engineered applications, developed software tools and assisted with web enabling. Apart from working on test automation, testing and certification of infrastructure or applications, HCL has also delivered on package implementation and production support.

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HCL's strategic partnership with the client has had a strong governance structure. Year-on-year cost reduction has been guaranteed through automation of key processes such as content conversion, messaging and quality analysis.

The time-to-market has improved considerably through new project execution methodologies such as Agile in onsite/ offshore model. HCL has continuously innovated through APO and KPI reviews to bring more value to the customer's customer. Moreover, now the client has HCL's global delivery and support system at its fingertips.

HCL has also brought innovation through industry-specific services offering such as Content 2.0 and migration to open source tools.

The future lies in imagination...

HCL's participation in the client's business has now multiplied manifold. Apart from providing technological support, HCL is also actively providing strategic insight to the client regarding business expansion. The future heralds more multi-service deliveries, inter-services offerings, fixed bid offerings and managed services. HCL plans to expand the usage of Agile.

Clearly, this association has been incredibly successful throughout and there is only one way to go from here – forward!

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